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Fences/Walls FAQ

We receive a lot of calls and emails with questions about requirements for fences and walls in the City of Tulsa, so we assembled this list of frequently asked questions.

Take a look, and if you need more assistance, feel free to contact us at 918-586-7526 or esubmit@incog.org.

Where can I build my fence?

Fences can be built up to your property line.

How do I know where my property line is?

If you do not know where your property lines are, a survey is the most accurate way to know where these boundaries and any potential restrictions (e.g., easements) are. Older plats and site plans for your property can also be helpful if the property lines have been included and are accurate, but should be updated to reflect any changes.

How tall can my fence be?

Fences are limited to 8 feet tall within the side and rear setback, and 4 feet tall within required street setbacks

For detached houses and duplexes located on corner or double frontage lots in a residential district, fences are limited to 4 feet tall within the front (street) setback and 8 feet tall within all other setbacks.

Fences taller than what is allowed by the code require a Special Exception from the Board of Adjustment. Section 70.120 of the City of Tulsa Zoning code outlines the process.

For information about Special Exceptions, contact the Tulsa Planning Office at 918-584-7526 or esubmit@incog.org.

What can I build my fence out of?

There are no specific requirements regarding design and materials for fences and walls except for screening fences and walls that are required by the Zoning Code.

For additional information, please refer to 65.070 Screening and 65.080 Landscape and Screening Material of the Zoning Code.

What about barbed wire and electric fences?

Chapter 45.080 Fences and Walls of the of the Zoning Code includes the following regulations on electric and barbed wire/razor-wire fences:

Electric fence systems are prohibited except on:

  • Parcels of land with an area of 10 acres or more, provided the system is not readily accessible to the public; and
  • Parcels of land with an area of less than 10 acres, provided that the conductors are located at least 8 feet above grade and are not readily accessible to the public.

Barbed-wire and razor-wire fencing is prohibited in all districts except AG, IL, IM, and IH (subject to Title 24, Section 103 of Tulsa Revised Ordinances). Such fences in other districts require a Special Exception from the Board of Adjustment.

Barbed wire fences cannot be located within three (3) feet of any public sidewalk.

Do I need permits?

Yes, the City of Tulsa requires all fences and walls to go through the permit process.

Fences and Walls

  • Up to 7 feet tall: a Zoning Clearance Permit is required. Note: Engineer-sealed designs are required for precast and masonry construction taller than 4 feet, as measured from grade to the top of the wall or fence.
  • Taller than 7 feet: a Building Permit is required.

Retaining Walls

  • Up to 4 feet tall, measured from bottom of the footing to top of wall: a Zoning Clearance Permit is required.
  • Taller than 4 feet, measured from bottom of the footing to top of wall: a Building Permit is required, and the wall must be designed and sealed by an engineer.

Both processes require a site plan and complete legal description from the property deed. Your site plan should detail the location, length, and height(s) of all proposed fence/wall segments, and the distance from the center of all streets to the proposed fence/wall.

For more information on site plan requirements or the permitting process, visit the City of Tulsa Permit Center’s Forms and Booklets page.

For additional assistance or questions regarding permits, call the City of Tulsa Permit Center at 918-596-9456.

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